And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord…” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” –Luke 2:8-11; 13-14
New parents are unmistakable. Pride fills every ounce of their beings as they burst with the joy of their new arrival. Phone calls are made almost immediately, text messages are sent in haste and often the newborn’s picture is posted on Facebook within hours of their child’s birth. The proud parents want the whole world to know that the child they have been eagerly anticipating during the past nine months has finally arrived.
But what if you’ve been waiting for hundreds of years? Prophecies about the birth of Jesus date back hundreds of years before He was born. Finally, the time had come. Jesus was here at last and what did God do? He sent out the greatest birth announcement ever, but to the most unlikely recipients.
That quiet night, the shepherds were doing what shepherds do: keeping watch over the sheep, taking turns sleeping while another stayed on duty tending the fire and protecting the sheep. When, out of nowhere, God bursts in on the scene! This has to be one of the most emotive scenes in the Bible. An angel appears and passionately announces the best news the world has ever heard. Jesus is here!
Imagine the moment, “Hey, Hey Guys, wake up! I’ve got BIG NEWS! Jesus is here! JESUS IS HERE!!” The angel then goes on to tell the specifics of the birth, what He has come for, and where He could be found. And, if that wasn’t enough, God then sends an angel army to celebrate as the skies fill with heaven’s jubilant praise. It must have been quite an exciting experience.
On this Christmas Day, may we be courageous enough to find the emotion that surrounded Jesus’ birth and celebrate this sacred event. Like the angel, may our lives shout with excitement that the One we have waited for is here and may we boldly proclaim that He is still here today, bursting into the scene of our lives and that He is the Messiah and Master.
As you read the Christmas story today, take the time to celebrate that God has and continues to make himself known to all humanity.